Nintendo Switch fans are faced with major news this week as the company announces that there will be some big multiplayer disruptions next week. This is due to two periods of maintenance that will focus primarily on starting a subscription method for players to access online gaming. The previously free online service is now facing some game-changing issues as the company will start to charge anyone who wants to play the Big N's games.
The company will be offline for two hours on Tuesday, April 18 from midnight until 2 am, which means no multiplayer from 5 pm (PT) until 7 pm on April 17 for Switch players in the US. The company added that "some network services may become unavailable" such as online play and rankings. Another even bigger disruption will occur next on Wednesday, April 19 involving the Wii U and 3DS, which will be both taken offline for maintenance starting at 6.45pm (PT) until 8 pm (PT).
According to Tom's Guide, it's possible Nintendo is laying the foundations for the Nintendo Switch Online Service, which is prompting the gaming disruptions. The online service is scheduled to launch this autumn, but fans are hoping the maintenance periods will not affect the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe released on April 28. Regarding the upcoming online service, the company revealed the cost of the service just before the release of the highly popular console.
The subscription for the online games has been speculated to cost somewhere between $17 and $26 following a trial period. Since it had been previously free, Nintendo general manager Shinya Takahashi and deputy general manager Yoshiaki Koizumi explained why the company will start charging for online play. According to the Daily Express, they said that online service needs maintenance and that they are providing new services that they haven’t had up until now, which costs a lot.
They also said that Nintendo Switch wants to offer stable playing experience and provide proper support that will entail payment. They are currently preparing all of the features until the service debuts in the fall of 2017. More details will surface regarding the additional features, meanwhile, Nintendo did mention that it will offer subscribers a free game each month which will only be available for a limited time.